Family-Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration
Mom's Parenting Tool Box

Family-Friendly Stay-cation Inspiration

Your vacation time is not going as planned. Emergencies, weather, budget, or global pandemic- whatever the reason sometimes our trips and travel get canceled. Instead of dwelling on the depressing thought of “Well this sucks and we will be bored and trapped!” try to think outside of the box. Get ready to enjoy where you are! Mix up every day with some Family- Friendly Stay-cation Inspiration!

Family-Friendly Stay-cation Inspiration

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Here are the topics to consider when looking for your stay-cation inspiration:

  • Theme
  • Food
  • Games
  • Movies
  • Clothes
  • Decorations
  • Local Fun
  • New House Rules


Family Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration. First Choose a Theme

Lots of trips like cruises usually have a fun theme. You can totally do this at home! Hit up Amazon or your local Dollar Tree and look for some inspiration for a theme. You can pick a theme to stick to for a whole week or do a different theme every day! Dress, eat, follow rules, watch certain movies, and decorate to match the chosen theme! You could even put your favorites in a hat and pick a new one to try out each day. I have many different Themed Busy Boxes with Leaning Activities for Preschoolers. Some of those games and ideas can be used here as well. Sample Ideas for Themes:

  • Formal Night
  • Beach Theme
  • Camping Theme
  • Sports/ Olympic Theme
  • Shark Week Theme
  • Color Theme


Family Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration. Get Fun with Food.

Travel and Vacation can inspire you to try new foods or indulge in some favorites you may typically skip. Plan some new exotic recipes to attempt. If you have chosen a theme be sure to keep that in mind while you are planning your food. Don’t forget to try some local dine-out or carryout options. I know there are some restaurants around me I have yet to try out!


Family Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration. Games and Prizes.
  • Get a jigsaw puzzle with an end goal of finishing during that week!
  • Try a new family board game or choose from an old favorite.
  • Make up some of your own games like Family Olympics or home make board games.
  • Don’t forget to create some fun awards and prizes for the game-winners.
  • Another idea could be a video game tournament!


Family Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration. Movies
  • Pick some fun movies to match your theme and let the kiddos stay up later than normal to enjoy them!
  • Match fun snacks for the movie.
  • Parents, think about your favorite childhood movies to share with your kiddos.


Family Friendly Stay-Cation Inspiration. Don't forget to Dress the Part

Get creative in your closet. Pick a new way to dress for the day or for dinner each night to match a chosen theme. Here is some dressy theme idea inspiration:

  • Patriotic
  • Formal (Break out the suits, tuxedos, and old prom dresses!)
  • Sporty (Family Team Shirts!)
  • Floral
  • Beach
  • Western
  • Super Hero
  • Color (Each night of the week you choose a family member’s favorite color and everyone dresses in that color)


I have already mentioned this topic several times. You can pick some fun decor that will match your theme. Go to dollar tree, or party city, or do a search on Amazon if you need some decorative supplies to match your theme. If you need to do things on the cheap, try to choose a theme you already have the supplies for! There are a million DIY ideas for anything you might want to craft or create on Pinterest. You may even already have some of the supplies in your home. Nothing is stopping you from searching!

Beach theme?- Get out the beach chairs and umbrella! Stick your feet in the kid’s sandbox! Have the kids create some sea creature pictures or coloring pages to decorate and match the theme.

Sports theme?- Get out the kid’s sports equipment. Create some crafty cheerleader pompoms.

Local Fun

Planning vacations often involve looking for fun things to visit, see, and do when you get to your destination. You can do the same with a Stay-Cation! When was the last time you looked for a new adventure within an hour’s drive from your own home? Some ideas for when you are searching:


This section of inspiration again is about doing things differently than usual. You can have different house rules for each day. B

  • Backward Day- Breakfast for dinner, dinner for breakfast, dress backward, do routines backward, play games backward, etc.
  • PJ’s all day.
  • Yes, Day Parents say yes to all reasonable requests with boundaries.
  • Movie Outside (Check out this projector on Amazon).

I will continue to add some inspiration to this page. I hope you got some fun ideas for your family staycation!

Here is a FREE PRINTABLE for Planning it all!!

Please if you were inspired and printed this little planning sheet, then share with me your Stay-Cation on Savor the Mom Life Facebook Page! #SavortheStay-cation


  • Will

    Thanks for this really great article. Now school summer vacation is here I’m looking for things to do with my kids and you’ve given me a load of really inspiration. I really like your section on activities – i think the backwards day is a great idea and the ‘yes’ day (to an extent!) sounds like it could go down really well. On this though, obviously there are boundaries and I wondered whether you’ve tried this with your kids and how it played out? My worry would be starting to say yes to requests and then the kids developing an expectation that this is what it should be like all the time. Do you have any tips on managing this? 

    • Savorthemomlife

      Will, I am so glad you enjoyed my post. As for the yes day… they know its a yes day and therefore not normal. You only do it one day and then go back to normal! There have to be some boundaries- kids always need them. Things like budget, safety, etc. Depending on the age of your kids it will be different. Mine are 4 and 7. Their requests are mostly simple and attention heavy. They also have to take turns with me. Usually, its special food, playing barbies, playing video games, etc. 

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